IOC: ‘No evidence’ of bribery for 2016, ’20 Games

first_imgLAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has seen “no evidence” so far to support allegations of possible bribery in the bidding for the 2016 and 2020 Games, an IOC spokesman said yesterday. The IOC said it has applied to be a party to the investigation by French authorities into corruption in track and field that could spread to possible bribery in Olympic bidding. The IOC said it was in “close contact” with French prosecutors, who have been investigating bribery and money-laundering involving doping cover-ups at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that the prosecutors have widened the probe to include the bidding for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. “The IOC has been in close contact with the French prosecutors since the beginning of this investigation last year,” the Olympic body said in a statement. “The IOC’s chief ethics and compliance officer had already asked for the IOC to be fully informed in a timely manner of all issues that may refer to Olympic matters and has already applied to become a party to the investigations led by the French judicial authorities.” IOC spokesman Mark Adams, speaking to reporters, said no proof of any Olympic wrongdoing had been uncovered to date. “At the moment, there is no evidence,” he said. “We have the structure in place. We have an independent ethics commission. But so far there is no evidence. When we get evidence, we have shown we will act on it. “It is any easy thing to talk about, but no one has any evidence,” Adams added. “There is nothing that has been put forward to us. At the moment, there is nothing to act on.” The Guardian reported in January that it had seen leaked e-mails linking the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack to alleged “parcels” to be delivered to six IOC members during the bidding for the 2016 Games. The British newspaper said the e-mails were sent by Papa Massata Diack to a Qatari business executive in May 2008. The Qatari capital, Doha, was bidding for the 2016 Olympics at the time. The Guardian said the email suggested that six people, referred to by their initials which corresponded with six IOC members at the time, requested “to have their parcels delivered through Special Adviser in Monaco”. The paper said the “special adviser” was believed to be Lamine Diack, who was then an IOC member. The Guardian said it wasn’t known whether any “parcels” were sent. In any case, a month after the email was sent, Doha failed to make the list of finalists in the 2016 bidding. Papa Massata Diack was banned for life by the IAAF ethics commission in January for corruption and cover-up allegations linked to Russian doping. He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Papa Massata Diack is also wanted for questioning by prosecutors in France. Interpol has issued a wanted notice for him to face corruption charges in France. The elder Diack, who headed the IAAF for 16 years until he stepped down in August, is accused by French prosecutors of pocketing more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) from bribes in exchange for covering up doping cases, mainly involving Russian athletes. Lamine Diack resigned as an honorary IOC member in November, a day after he was provisionally suspended by the IOC executive board. He served as a full IOC member for 15 years until 2014.last_img read more

Blueberry Hill man charged with larceny, escaping from lawful custody

first_imgWendell Pereira, also known as “Old Head”, of Lot 34 Blueberry Hill, Wismar, Linden, is facing two charges of break and enter and larceny and an escaping from lawful custody charge at the Linden Magistrate’s Court.On Wednesday, Magistrate Annette Singh reduced Pereira’s bail from $70,000 to $50,000. It is alleged that the 51-year-old broke and entered the business place of Richard Hopkinson and stole half a case of shandy between July 15 and 16, 2018 at the Wisroc/Amelia’s Ward bus park.The second charge stated that the defendant between July 17 and 18, 2018 at Co-op Crescent, Mackenzie, he broke and entered the business place of Monica Reece and stole a quantity of items, including one flat-screen television valued $168,000, one VCR worth $15,000, an amplifier valued at $65,000, a gas bottle valued $8000, 18 bottles of Black Stone valued $32,000, 18 bottles of Banko valued $6000 and 10 Pringles valued $3600 – a total value of $297,600.It is also alleged that Pereira on July 23, 2018 escaped from lawful custody while he was being detained at the Wismar Police Station in Linden. Bail for both counts of break and enter and larceny were reduced from $30,000 to $20,000 while bail for the escape from lawful custody charge remained at $10,000. The matter was adjourned to January 11, 2018.last_img read more

Video: Postgame celebration and comments from NLCS Game 4

first_imgVideo from the clubhouse and postgame press conferences after the Dodgers won NLCS Game 4 over the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1, in 13 innings. Game story | box score | photoslast_img

Space boffins meet in Cape Town

first_img5 October 2011Africa’s involvement in space activities would help address the challenges of telecommunications, energy and food insecurity on the continent, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on the opening day of the 62nd International Astronautical Congress in Cape Town on Monday.The International Astronautical Federation’s prestigious annual congress, this year themed “African Astronaissance”, has attracted thousands of space players from around the globe. It runs through to Friday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.This is the first time the congress is being hosted in Africa, and is good timing for South Africa as it bids to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.The Congress also coincides with World Space Week, an annual global space celebration taking place in 55 countries around the world from 4 to 10 October.Africa ‘the new pole of growth’Davies said it was no accident that Africa was hosting the event, as the continent was emerging as “the new pole of growth” in a fast-changing global economy.The minister said that South Africa’s space policy was based on promoting peace, adding that the country was on the verge of concluding a deal with India for use of space for “peaceful purposes.”International Astronautical Federation (IAF) president Berndt Feuerbacher said that his organization had 205 members, which was set to swell to 220 by the end of the conference as more African countries signed up and an African regional group was established.Feuerbacher said the IAF believed that space was not a “playground” for rich countries only, as it brought value to all mankind.No newcomer to major league astronomySouth Africa is no newcomer to major league astronomy. The country has been short-listed to host the Square Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an international €1.5-billion project to build the world’s largest radio telescope.The Northern Cape is already home to one of the world’s largest telescopes, the Southern African Large Telescope or SALT.South Africa also works closely with neighbour Nambia on the HESS gamma ray telescope, and is currently building an 80-dish precursor instrument for the SKA, the Karoo Array Telescope (also known as the MeerKAT).Regardless of whether South Africa wins the SKA bid, the MeerKAT will be a powerful scientific instrument in its own right, comprising 80 dishes each 13.5-metres in diameter. It is being built adjacent to the site proposed for the SKA, in a radio astronomy reserve near the small town of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, where it is due to be commissioned in 2014/15.An engineering test bed of seven dishes, called the KAT-7, is already complete.In the process of building the MeerKAT, South African engineers are already working on some of the SKA’s technological building blocks – such as a prototype dish antenna that combines new materials with innovative design processes to meet the SKA’s exacting precision, durability and cost criteria.Skills development and trainingThe SKA South Africa project, including the MeerKAT telescope, is one of the biggest science and engineering projects in South Africa. It thus represents an unrivalled opportunity for the development of very high-level science and technology expertise – paving the way for Africa to contribute significantly to the global knowledge economy and global technology trade.These technologies include very fast grid computing, very fast data transport, data storage, wireless engineering, digital electronics, image processing and software development.In 2005, the South African SKA project initiated a targeted “Youth into Science and Engineering Programme” to develop highly skilled young scientists and engineers.“The young people supported by this programme will serve South Africa, and our African partner countries, in the future in key areas of economic development in addition to their participation in ‘blue skies’ scientific research,” says SKA South Africa’s Kim de Boer.The programme offers comprehensive bursaries to students in engineering, mathematics, physics and astronomy at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Bursary holders also benefit from regular workshops and conferences where they interact with the world’s leading astronomers. SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

B. Sai Praneeth cruises into Thailand Open final

first_imgIndian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth booked his place in the final of the men’s singles event of the Thailand Open after registering an easy win against local player Pannawit Thongnuam on Saturday.Praneeth defeated Thongnuam 21-11, 21-15 in just 36 minutes.The third seeded Indian completely dominated the opening game. Thongnuam tried hard to take the fight to Praneeth in the second game, but the final outcome hardly looked in doubt.The world number 24 will now take on fourth seed Jonathan Christie — who registered 21-9, 21-18 win over Malaysia’s Joo Ven Soong in the other semi-final match — in the summit clash on Sunday.last_img read more

Nine Trades See Drop in November Schedule Reliability

first_imgzoom Nine of the 12 trades saw a decrease in schedule reliability from October 2017 to November 2017, intelligence provider CargoSmart informed.The North America-Oceania trade, which had the highest reliability in previous months, experienced the largest decrement in reliability, decreasing by 24.8% from 86.2% in October 2017 to 61.4% in November 2017.The Europe-Middle East trade experienced the largest improvement in reliability, increasing by 9.8%, from 63.3% in October 2017 to 73.1% in November 2017.The Europe-South America trade had the highest reliability with 83.8% in November 2017.Carriers’ overall on-time schedule reliability decreased by 0.6%, from 67.6% in October 2017 to 67% in November 2017. The top five most reliable carriers in November 2017 were CCNI, Safmarine, OOCL, Evergreen, and COSCO with an average on-time performance of 77.8%, 75.4%, 74.3%, 73.9%, and 73.5% respectively.last_img read more

Trump risks US on path to WWIII says senator Corker

first_imgSenator Bob Corker speaks with reporters after announcing his retirement at the conclusion of his term on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, on 26 September. Photo: ReutersRepublican US senator Bob Corker warned on Sunday that president Donald Trump risks setting the nation “on the path to World War Three” in an interview with The New York Times, the latest in a series public barbs traded over the day.Trump had blamed his former political ally for the Iran nuclear deal in a series of derisive Twitter posts that drew a sharp riposte from Corker, who chairs the important Senate Foreign Relations Committee.In a sweeping, 25-minute interview, Corker told the newspaper he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” – in a reference to the reality television show that Trump had once hosted.“He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” the senator, who announced his retirement last month, said.Corker dismissed the idea that Trump may be using provocative comments about North Korea to advance US negotiations being conducted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by playing “bad cop” to the top diplomat’s “good cop” effort to broker a deal with Pyongyang.“I know he has hurt, in several instances. He’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Corker told the paper, which added that Corker did not provide details about negotiations. “A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true.”Corker had been a national security adviser to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and on Trump’s short-list last year for both vice president and secretary of state.But the relationship between the two men has greatly deteriorated.More recently, Corker has criticised Trump, taking issue with the president’s response to a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. Critics assailed Trump for saying rival protesters were also to blame for violence.”Senator Bob Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said “NO” and he dropped out (said he could not win without my endorsement),” Trump wrote. “He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said “NO THANKS.” He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn’t have the guts to run!”An hour later Corker tweeted back: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”Corker’s chief of staff, Todd Womack, said Trump called the senator last Monday, asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek re-election in 2018, “and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times.”Trump’s dispute with Corker could also have implications for the president’s policy goals of repealing Obamacare and passing tax reform. Republicans control both houses of the US Congress but hold only a narrow majority, 52-48, in the Senate, which means Trump has only a slim margin for potential defections from within his own party on legislation.Even before Trump’s Twitter attacks on Corker, the senator has said he would have difficulty supporting any tax package that added to the federal deficit, posing a potential hurdle for the president’s tax plan.”Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it,” Trump posted on Twitter later on Sunday. “We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!”Key Player on IranOn Iran, Trump is expected to disclose within days a plan to decertify the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Tehran, putting the agreement’s future in the hands of Congress, where Corker would play a central role in determining its fate.Trump has long criticised the pact, a signature foreign policy achievement of Democratic former President Barack Obama in which Iran agreed to reduce its nuclear program in exchange for easing of international sanctions.During the US political fight over the agreement, which was opposed by every Republican in Congress, Corker co-wrote the law that required congressional approval for the deal and required the president to certify that Iran was complying every 90 days.Some critics on the far right have blamed Corker for that measure, which they say helped push the pact through Congress.The two-term senator’s retirement is a blow to a Republican Party struggling to balance divisions between mainstream and more populist wings.Asked last week about reported tensions between Trump and Tillerson, Corker responded with what was seen as a jab at Trump.He described Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and White House chief of staff John Kelly as “those people that help separate our country from chaos.”After Charlottesville, Corker said, “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”last_img read more

At least 42 dead in floods in Indonesias Papua

first_imgA small plane on an airstrip surrounded by floodwaters in Sentani, near the provincial capital of Jayapura, triggered by torrential rain on 17 March. Photo: AFPAt least 42 people have been killed by flash floods in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province, an official said Sunday.The floods in Sentani, near the provincial capital of Jayapura, were triggered by torrential rain on Saturday, and also left 21 people injured.Dozens of homes were damaged by floodwaters, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.”The number of casualties and impact of the disaster will likely increase as search and rescue teams are still trying to reach other affected areas,” he added.The floods have receded, but officials are still trying to evacuate people.Flooding is not uncommon in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season which runs from October to April.In January, floods and landslides killed at least 70 people on Sulawesi island, while earlier this month hundreds in West Java province were forced to evacuate when torrential rains triggered severe flooding.last_img read more